After I began to see that virtually no processed foods were free of the dangerous ingredients I had learned about, I realized that getting rid of processed food altogether was really the only option. Like everyone else, I was used to the convenience of processed food, and frankly, I didn’t know how to cook food from scratch. Could I do it?
What about the stuff I can’t make? Around the same time I had discovered organic food. At first I didn’t believe the hype: I thought it was just another way to mark up the price of the same food. Then I tasted it. Apples, chicken, milk, you name it! It was like I’d never had these foods before. An apple tasted more like an apple, and chicken was more… flavorful! Rich! Delicious! Almost everything I tried tasted better and was more colorful and healthy-looking, and my feeling was that these types of food probably had more nutrients as well.
Regardless, after tasting the difference, I was convinced. So my first thought was to switch to organic processed food. Genius, right? Easy, awesome and healthy—win-win! And most of the offending ingredients I was trying to avoid were absent in the more expensive organic-certified packages. Score!
I also began following a number of health-living, organic-minded, do-it-yourself blogs; documenting various clever ways people have come up with to make their own versions of beloved, processed junk food.
After all, we grew up with it, and when you have a craving you can only resist it for so long. Fortunately, there are a lot of creative people out there who have already tested recipes for our favorite comfort and junk foods using real ingredients. Just try searching “paleo brownies,” “real food fudge,” or “grain free mac & cheese” to get the idea. If you want it, there is a healthy-substitution recipe out there that tastes good.
Stay tuned for part 4 of the Step Away from the Can Series: Enter Traditional Food.